“Eventually each bot would be able to do the work of a dozen low-level associates.”
Photo by Flickr user Peyri Herrera.
A London based legal consulting firm believes that robots may soon replace lawyers. Jomati Consultants has released a new report, ‘Civilisation 2030: The Near Future for Law Firms,’ detailing a future legal landscape almost solely dominated by artificial intelligence.
While courtroom arguments and more nuanced lawyer work could still keep humans on the payroll, lower level procedural work - anything with a systemic component - would be robot country.
"Eventually each bot would be able to do the work of a dozen low-level associates,” says the report. “They would not get tired. They would not seek advancement. They would not ask for pay rises. Process legal work would rapidly descend in cost."
These changes would bring about a very different looking law firm, structurally, with virtually no place for lower level associates or assistants. Practices would have to shift their business model to focus on advisory work and the knowhow of high level employees.
"Clients would instead greatly value the human input of the firm's top partners, especially those that could empathise with the client's needs and show real understanding and human insight into their problems," reads the report.
While the upheaval in career paths and implied “structural collapse” of law firms can seem troubling, the idea of leaving the grunt work to robots – in the law world as well as other data driven businesses – thus leaving the critical/creative thinking and empathizing to humans, could be a more fulfilling professional future for all.